FTC asks US court to block Microsoft – Activision deal

The FTC has asked a US court to temporarily block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, citing concerns about competition, access to sensitive information, and exclusive access to games.

Logo, Microsoft,

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has asked the federal judge of the District Court for Northern District of California to temporarily block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard $69 billion deal. According to the filling, FTC claimed that the deal would give Microsoft the ‘ability to have an increased incentive to withhold or degrade Activision’s content in ways that substantially lessen competition, including competition on product quality, price and innovation.’ FTC also expressed its concerns about the access to sensitive business information that Microsoft would have. Already in early December, FTC asked an in-house administrative judge to block the transaction claiming that Microsoft would have exclusive access to Activision games. While the European Union (EU) approved Microsoft’s bid to acquire the Call of Duty videogame, British authorities blocked it in April. Microsoft has offered to sign a legally binding consent decree with the FTC to provide ‘Call of Duty’ games to rivals. At the same time antitrust experts say the FTC faces an uphill battle to convince a judge to block the deal.